Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
Pulp, Crime, & Mystery Books
by Dave's Pulp and Mystery Reads
1d ago
Dharma Bums (1958) was a sort of follow-up to Kerouac’s phenomenal On the Road (1957). It is a loosely autobiographical story about another strain of the Beat Generation, the poetic, meditative, mountaineering side. The two main character are Ray Smith (loosely Jack himself) and Japhy Ryder (based on poet Gary Snyder) and Allen Ginsberg makes an appearance as Alvah Goldbook reading his poem, Wail (rather than Howl), again loosely disguised. Japhy is the equivalent of Dean Moriarity in this novel and Ray Smith is Sal Paradise, a few years older, although perhaps not wiser. Japhy is not the mad ..read more
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The Barbarous Coast by Ross MacDonald (Lew Archer # 6)
Pulp, Crime, & Mystery Books
by Dave's Pulp and Mystery Reads
1d ago
In the sixth volume in MacDonald’s Lew Archer series, published in 1956, MacDonald takes on a tour of the corruption of Hollywood and how one cover-up leads to another. it all starts with an odd request from one Mr. Bassett, the manager of an exclusive Malibu swim and drink club, who wants Archer to do something about a man (George Wall) who has been harassing Bassett for the whereabouts of his missing wife, diver and actress Hester Campbell, who has not been around for months, but who Bassett always thought of in a fatherly way. Of course, Archer finds it odd, when shown a photograph of Hest ..read more
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The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
Pulp, Crime, & Mystery Books
by Dave's Pulp and Mystery Reads
1d ago
In 1952, Lion Books published Jim Thompson’s tour-de-force psychological noir thriller, The Killer Inside Me. Thompson offered us readers a very different look at crime than typically is found. Instead of a machine-gun wielding bank robber or a plotting syndicate or someone manipulating people to get ahold of a jeweled statue, we got inside the head of a twisted killer. The novel Killer Inside Me is narrated by one Deputy Lou Ford who offers a tour of how twisted his thought-patterns are. And we quickly learn that he is psychologically damaged and that his father and brother spent their lives ..read more
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Drink with the Dead by Jay Flynn (Black Gat # 59)(ACE # D379)
Pulp, Crime, & Mystery Books
by Dave's Pulp and Mystery Reads
5d ago
Jay Flynn, who published this one originally as J.M. Flynn, but was known to his mother as John Martin Flynn, is described in the biographical sketch at the end of the new Black Gat edition as a hard-drinking Boston Irishman who worked as a newspaperman, a bartender, a sex novelist, bootlegger, and writer in residence at a Nevada whorehouse. It was original published as an Ace two-fer in 1959 with cover art by Paul Rader. As such, Drink With the Dead crosses some familiar territory. It is a nasty, hardboiled piece of action-packed work, featuring as its star witness, Treasury Agent Jensen. Un ..read more
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The Other Woman by Charles Burgess (Black Gat # 60)
Pulp, Crime, & Mystery Books
by Dave's Pulp and Mystery Reads
5d ago
Originally published by Beacon in 1960 by Charles Burgess, now re-released with the original cover artwork brighter by Stark House’s Black Gat Books in July 2024. Although Beacon was a sleaze pulp house, the Other Woman is firmly in the crime fiction camp despite a few hot and heavy scenes. The setting is a small west coast of Florida town, Jellico, and the lead character, Neil Cowan is a real estate agent, married to Julie, with a young daughter, Linda. He is excited about meeting with a millionaire who wants to develop some land, one John Royal. Although Cowan offers that he is ethical and ..read more
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The Goodbye Look (1969) by Ross MacDonald (aka Kenneth Millar) (Lew Archer # 15)
Pulp, Crime, & Mystery Books
by Dave's Pulp and Mystery Reads
1w ago
In the Goodbye Look (1969), Lew Archer is hired to investigate a pilfered family heirloom, but quickly runs into a complicated case with family secrets taking him back in time. Archer is initially told that the Chalmers house was burgled while they were in Palm Springs and peculiarly the only thing taken was an old gold box kept in a study safe. We are told that Mrs. Chalmers had “the tone of a handsome woman who had married money and social standing and never could forget that she might just as easily lose these things.” And, keep that in mind, because often monied folks spend their lives wo ..read more
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The Wycherly Woman by Kenneth Millar writing as Ross MacDonald (Lew Archer # 9)
Pulp, Crime, & Mystery Books
by Dave's Pulp and Mystery Reads
1w ago
The Wycherly Woman (1961) has Lew Archer working for another difficult client, one who wants him to essentially investigate with both hands tied behind his back. Eccentric oil millionaire Homer Wycherly went through a difficult divorce with a wife (Catherine) who he believed had been cheating. With daughter Phoebe away at college, Homer embarked on a two-week trip around the world, only to come back and find that his daughter has been missing for two months and no one cared enough to look for her. Homer does not want any negative publicity and forbids Archer from going to the press or the loc ..read more
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Murder in Monaco/Death’s Lovely Mask by John Gearon writing as John Flagg
Pulp, Crime, & Mystery Books
by Dave's Pulp and Mystery Reads
1w ago
John Rex Gearon, writing as John Flagg, put out five standalone novels in his Hart Muldoon international adventure/espionage series, beginning with A Woman of Cairo (1953), Dear, Deadly Beloved (1954), Murder in Monaco (1957), Death’s Lovely Mask (1958), and concluding with Paradise Gun (1961). Stark House Press has now reprinted the first four in the series in two double album publications, for now at least, leaving Paradise Gun to used bookstore afficiandos. Muldoon is an ex-OSS agent who stayed on in Europe rather than coming home after WW2 and now makes a fairly decent living off the book ..read more
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Seconds by David Ely
Pulp, Crime, & Mystery Books
by Dave's Pulp and Mystery Reads
2w ago
Seconds (1962) is a pseudo-science fiction novel that, for this reader, seems in some respects to echo Heinlein’s 1961 novel I Will Fear No Evil in that both novels posit the ultra-wealthy escaping death (I Will Fear No Evil) or boredom and aging (Seconds) by the advent of plastic surgery. Seconds also became a motion picture starring Rock Hudson. Seconds is a sparsely written novel with few character and little in the way of descriptions. Wilson is a successful banker and family man, who is offered a chance by an acquaintance to leave his boring drab existence and wife and start something ne ..read more
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Meet Me at the Morgue by Ross Macdonald (originally published under the byline John Ross Macdonald) (1953)
Pulp, Crime, & Mystery Books
by Dave's Pulp and Mystery Reads
3w ago
Meet Me at the Morgue is one of Ross Macdonald’s few standalone novels, particularly after he focused his energies on the Lew Archer series. Also set in 1950’s Los Angeles, here, though in an imaginary suburb named Pacific Point near the harbor (which could be sort of a stand-in for Palos Verdes, maybe), Macdonald uses Probation Officer Howard Cross as his protagonist rather than a private eye. Cross is a stand-up guy who gives no favors and wants the truth even if it is not what he thinks it should be. He has two assistant probation officers working under him, but only Ann Devon figures prom ..read more
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